MELBOURNE – Former West Indies captain Carl Hooper has said that the emergence of the Indian Premier League is lurking as one of the biggest threats to international cricket right now.
“One of the biggest threats facing cricket is the IPL,” Hooper said.
Hooper feared that the West Indies team might lose its way and the players might be enticed by lucrative IPL offers if the West Indies board did not offer them central contracts.
Chris Gayle was at loggerheads with the West Indies Cricket Board until recently while Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine missed Test duty to fulfill their IPL commitments.
“The spectators want to see the best players. If I looked up and saw no Gayle or key players named to play I would just say forget about it, stay home,” said Hooper.
“They have to figure out a way to get our key players contracted.”
Hooper felt that players like Narine could be forced to place national interests ahead of private leagues if he was offered a central contract by the board.
“If Narine has a central contract that would mean he would have to play for the West Indies,” said Hooper.
“We want to have our best cricketers playing each and every time we take the park,” he added.
The former West Indies skipper also felt that building a solid base in Test cricket would help a player to feature in any form of the game.
“I am old fashioned, I believe in Test cricket. If you have a solid base in Test cricket you can adjust your game to suit any other format.”